How do I find a good buyer's broker comfortable in my neighborhood if I don't have any personal recommendations?

Asked by Baxter Kylie, New York, NY Wed Sep 12, 2012

I've tried the accreditation and association listings to no avail, and the neighborhood itself (Sugar Hill) seems to be far too uptown and far too economically depressed for the few 'superstar' brokers to notice. Since this is a first home purchase, I want to with someone who knows the area and can advise on purchasing decisions, trending, and whether its the right time to get pre-approved.

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RBman, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon May 23, 2016
The question you should be asking is whether you can trust your agent. One way to find out is to see if any of them will voluntarily tell you and offer you a buyer agent commission rebate in NYC. I guarantee you none of them will. What does that tell you about their honesty?

I've included a link below to a guide with pretty epic tips on how to choose a buyer's agent in NYC. Good luck on your search and choose wisely!
1 vote
Very funny and spot on. I asked the agent who sold me my Chelsea coop if he'd offer me a NYC buyer agent commission rebate on my next condo investment purchase if I used him as my buyer's agent ... and he said that he'd never heard of a commission rebate before. Furthermore, he said that even if they were legal (which they unquestionably are btw) his bosses at (large brokerage) wouldn't allow him to give one... haha
Flag Tue May 24, 2016
Megan Paul, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
First, I hope you are safe and sound after the last few days with Sandy. Most Exclusive Buyer's Brokerage have already made a pledge to their clients that they will not list properties. That is a huge market they have denied themselves. Also, you should take the time to meet a few, do they give you a new buyer's packet? It should be filled with information about your area. They should be familiar with more than just your area, do they work closely with other professionals? Mortgage Brokers that can help you with the right loan product, home inspectors--a good Exclusive Buyers Broker will insist you get a quality home inspection and then if anything needs to be repaired they will help negotiate with the sellers to make those repairs before purchase, or if you don't like what you find, walk away. Google or Bing Exclusive Buyer's Brokers in your area. There should be a few. Being a buyer's agent is different than being an Exclusive Buyer's agent. There are plenty of good buyer's agents that work for large brokerages, but remember, their duty always lies with the seller. An Exclusive Buyer's Agency has no duty to the seller only the buyer.
1 vote
Sophie2012, Both Buyer And Seller, New York, NY
Mon Sep 17, 2012
You come on Trulia and ask for recommendation. :)
1 vote
Michele Port…, , New York, NY
Wed Jan 23, 2013
I would talk with brokers who hae listings in your price range and listings in that neighborhood. "Big names" typically have tams and you do not actually work with the "big" name. It is more important to have a broker who you can relate to and who will answer your questions. Also do not be afraid to ask for referrals so you can speak with past clients of that broker. Please feel free to contact me. I have 1 partner and we frequently work upper Manhattan .
Michele Portnof
0 votes
Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Oct 30, 2012
Cheuschober - the best way to find a good buyer's broker comfortable in your neighborhood would be to put your zipcode in the Trulia search bar and see which Realtors advertise in that neighborhood.

Good Luck,

Margaret Hassani
Broker, Lightning Realty
Phone/Text: (813) 766-1501
0 votes
Kristine DeV…, Agent, NY,
Tue Sep 25, 2012
Did you find a buyers agent?
0 votes
Gil, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon Sep 17, 2012
I am a broker in Chelsea but a good thing tio do is look on this site at recent sales in your chosen area and price range and see who the agent was who sold the property. Also if there are buildings you like in the area ask the super or doorman about availability and they may point you to an agent who works the neighborhood.
0 votes
John Peitler, Agent, NY,
Thu Sep 13, 2012
Please call me at 917-335-8569. My name is Erika and I would be happy to help you. Thank you and good luck.
0 votes
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Sep 13, 2012
Hi, Cheuschober,
The first step would be to get pre-approved. Then you know what you can afford, and if the purchase you have in mind is feasible. You can't know that unitl you know what a bank will lend you. Perhaps searching for Sugar Hill is too narrow. Agents that deal with Harlem cover that subsection. I don't like to make referrals here, as this is a forum for answering questions in a way that imparts knowledge, but I do have a specialist in that area in my office.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
0 votes
Hi Janet,

Thank you for the reply. I think my issues is being stuck with the other side of the feasibility question; the bank would likely give me a loan and I have an idea of a general price cap just by calculating my maximum DTI against current rates but whether or not there are properties available is the much bigger issue.
Flag Thu Sep 13, 2012
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Sep 13, 2012
Be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously, therefore do visit with any licensed loan officer first. As for choosing an agent, ask people you may know for referrals; or contact and interview in person a few local agents from different realty companies, then choose the one you like best.
0 votes
I've visited with a loan officer to get some ideas but the big question for me is whether or not there will be any properties within my price range. Only four exist right now (that I'm aware of) and all four are already in contract. Since pre-approval sets a ticking 90 day clock to find a place I'm not comfortable getting it till I've had a chance to talk with someone who has experience with the area and can provide a sanity check on whether now is the right time to start that clock (especially considering the change of seasons).
Flag Thu Sep 13, 2012
Jolie Muss, , Upper West Side, New York, NY
Wed Sep 12, 2012
Cheuschober,Before enlisting the services of a broker you will need to get pre-approved or you'll be wasting your time and theirs- when you've been pre- approved, i would be glad to refer you to a couple of reputable brokers who are knowledgeable about the neighborhood you mention.
0 votes
Hi Jolie, this presents a bit of a chicken/egg issue for me; pre-approval is a major hit to a credit rating and only gives a 90-day window to find a place. The few properties in my price range seem to flip or go into contract almost immediately and I'm genuinely concerned that there's not enough units available (or will be available after 30days pre-approval) to make a purchase feasible. I would expect a good buyer's broker to know the area well enough to have a frank conversation regarding trends in the neighborhood and whether or not it's reasonable to expect properties to be available within my limits (I, quite unfortunately, make only a hair above low-income restrictions which dequalifies me for all but a few buildings, it seems). I'm not averse to getting pre-approval, but I don't want to take the credit hit blindly hoping I can find a place in 90 days or less without a sanity check with an area expert.
Flag Wed Sep 12, 2012
Tasha Trice, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Sep 12, 2012
Hi Cheuschober,

I am a Buyers Broker, not only am I an expert in the Sugar Hill area I am a long time resident, born and raised.

I will be more than happy to help you locate your new home, guiding you through the process from beginning to end.

Best Regards,
Tasha Trice
0 votes
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